Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is resigning, she’s ‘had enough’

I don’t follow the ins and outs of Scotland’s political system, but Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon always struck me as a no-nonsense, common-sense leader who fought hard to protect Scotland and Scottish people. She’s been critical of the revolving door of Tory leaders in Downing Street, she’s been cautiously optimistic about Scottish independence, and she’s also been critical of the British royal family at times, especially during the pandemic and especially after QEII’s passing. I genuinely believed that Sturgeon would end up as the first Prime Minister of an independent Scotland. But it looks like that won’t be happening – Sturgeon is resigning as First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon is to resign as Scotland’s first minister after more than eight years in the role. The Scottish National Party leader is expected to make the announcement at a hastily-arranged news conference in Edinburgh. It is not thought that her departure will be immediate, allowing time for a successor to be elected.

A source close to Ms Sturgeon – the longest-serving first minister – told the BBC that she had “had enough”.

Former SNP MP Stephen Gethins said he was “surprised… and disappointed” by the news.

“Nicola Sturgeon is someone who has led with distinction,” he said. Mr Gethins said it was a “hard, stressful job” and that there would be “big shoes to fill”.

SNP MP Stewart McDonald described the first minister as “the finest public servant of the devolution age”. Alison Thewliss, the SNP MP for Glasgow Central, said she was “absolutely gutted” and described Ms Sturgeon as “an incredible leader”.

Ms Sturgeon has been a member of the Scottish Parliament since 1999, and became the deputy leader of the SNP in 2004. She has been first minister since November 2014, when she took over from Alex Salmond after the defeat in the independence referendum.

[From BBC]

She’s retiring because she’s “had enough.” Well… I certainly understand, although I wish she had stuck with it a bit longer. She seems like a very effective and well-liked leader and she’ll probably be very hard to replace. Now, is this about Scexit? Or is it about Scotland’s attempts to make it easier for trans people to exist and have rights, only to see those attempts blocked by the English Tories? Or does Sturgeon just NOT want to go to the coronation?

Update: Here’s her resignation speech.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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21 Responses to “Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is resigning, she’s ‘had enough’”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Jeremy Clarkson will be pleased. But will he throw excrement at her as she leaves office? Anyway, such a hasty resignation makes me wonder if there’s more happening behind the scenes. I have no evidence nor have heard anything to that effect, just made me curious. I hope whoever replaces her expedites the independence movement and is successful in forming a new, free, anti-monarchist, independent Scotland!

  2. tamsin says:

    Surprised. I always thought she was a steady and reliable hand at the helm. Hope an equal can step into her shoes.

  3. Jensa says:

    There is an ongoing police investigation over the SNP’s finances (re potential fundraising fraud), which apparently includes questions over a large loan from Sturgeon’s husband to the SNP. A report in the Scottish press a couple of days ago suggested that the police have now approached her to make a statement. This may or may not have anything to do with her resignation, I don’t know, but it may be a factor. One of the journalists asked about this at the press conference, but of course she couldn’t answer as it’s an active investigation.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Yeah, though I thought it was money he took from SNP campaign funds (allegedly for independence activities but no one knows what it was used for in the end) – the police only investigated after a public outcry, they’ve been trying to bury it for the past few years. It was quite a large amount £600K or something.

      I think its to do with a lot of things – mismanagement of the island ferries disaster, missing £5 billion of public funds, revolts within the party itself etc.. Will be interesting to see if the party survives – I suspect many might leave and join Alex Salmond’s new party.

      She’s def done an Arden – went on her own terms before being pushed.

      I was not a fan of hers but I did respect her for being a woman in politics – there is no one who can really fill her shoes. I hope to god her replacement is not Humza Yosef who is just so bad at his job, as is Katie Forbes. Angus Robertson would be an interesting choice. Not sure Joanna Cherry should be considered.

  4. C-Shell says:

    Following so closely from Jacinda Ardern’s resignation, I find I’m disappointed but also admire the women in leadership who know when it’s time to put their lives and families above politics and get the hell out. I’m impressed with the supportive statements coming from the SNP MPs … big shoes indeed.

  5. Aidevee says:

    She is very good at looking like a competent and compassionate leader; however, Scotland is a mess right now. We have all the industrial action that England has and health and education outcomes are off the charts terrible.
    There has also been a huge outcry over the isla bryson prison case and she hasn’t appeared reassuring to a lot of women and girls in Scotland. And there is a police investigation into a missing £600000 worth of SNP funds.

    She has a dreadful record behind her sadly.

    • Nicky says:

      Even if fundings a reason, it doesn’t even come close to Tories claiming for thousands odd quid for duck baths for lakes. Nothing comes close to the Tories (and royals) for being corrupt with money
      Hope she’s ok.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I don’t understand the comments about health and education.

      You guys in Scotland never paid for a prescription and a degree. I’ve a student loan so big that it doubles my car’s. It’s just ridiculous the situation in England and I’m not sure many Scots know how much. I’ve been waiting for a referral back to a dermatologist for close to 2 years. I just became unemployed so no way I can afford to go private.

      ETA: I’ll not chime in the trans law debate as I am still baffled by how JK Rowling could make Terfs thoughts on the matter become mainstream.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I think the education issues are more to do with primary and secondary schools where the standards have been dropping and the Scottish gov keeps cutting budgets. The Scottish gov say there is no money to give teachers a 10% (or close to) pay rise but they seem to find millions to throw at rusty ferries and independence law suits or just ‘lose’ £5 billion.

        As for the NHS issues – it’s just as fkd in Scotland. SNHS can’t keep nurses and the conditions there are brutal (brothers GF is a paramedic and the stories she tells are heart breaking). There are over 4,000 nurse vacancies in Scotland alone.

        If the SNP want to stay in power/relevant then they should clean house once Sturgeon goes – she surrounded herself with incompetent yes people.

    • Ace says:

      “she hasn’t appeared reassuring to a lot of women and girls in Scotland”

      Your TERFiness is showing.

      • Aidevee says:

        It’s not, I am relating how her handling of that particular case has been received and interpreted by many people in scotland.

  6. Seraphina says:

    This makes me sad. She seemed competent and a force to be reckoned with and so very eager to do good. Too many good people are leaving government and that’s a bad sign for what the future holds.

  7. Rapidnarwhal says:

    Sad day for Scotland, 8 years of misogynistic vitriol being sent her way on a daily basis. No wonder she has finally had enough.

    Worth noting that unlike in England, the NHS in Scotland is not on strike. GRR has been hijacked by transphobes, bigots and misogynists. The prison location of a convicted rapist has nothing to do with having a GRC. In addition, I would take the views of this group of organisations when considering the impact of having GRC.
    Twitter is a cesspit right now as vile unionist bigots rejoice.
    Nicola Sturgeon has always been held to higher standards than every other elected figure in the UK, she has never shied away from taking questions from journalists and politics will be a worse place without her. The babybox, free schools meals, 30 hrs free childcare for 3-5 are all things that we won’t see the benefits of for years She has the self awareness to see that people’s views are so entrenched, that she will never reach people who call her wee nippy or compare her to Jimmy Krankie. Westminster and the Tory government will be jumping for joy at her departure

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Backlash against GRR was due to a very persistent push by transphobic groups located in England (plus JK Rowling).

      Still baffling to me how TERFs thought could become so mainstream that it was transformed into “fighting for women’s rights”. Disgusted.

      ETA: as a DV/rape survivor I’m well aware that 85% of rapes against women are perpetrated by cishet men who are a relative/friend/known person. I think the percentage of rape from a transwoman against a woman is 0.1%
      All debates about GRR in the British media were purposely omitting statistics.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Rapidnarwhal, many thanks for the link but these actions are frightening!!! What are they doing??

      I am frightened to my core as we are seeing this happen in real time in America. Our neanderthal governor had imposed that trans-children’s parents be reported to our child protective services that are stretched thin trying to protect children from abuse, neglect and malnutrition. But this neanderthal weaponized this social program against trans minors. When will people allow those to live how THEY want??

      My heart goes out to every Scottish person today. I do hope that you are able to find someone that can fill Sturgeon‘s shoes as all of you will need someone that can and is WILLING to fight for ALL of you, not just the one’s trying to control others life’s choices.

  8. Maeve says:

    Scotland checking in! It’s come as a surprise but having heard her statement I get the impression that she’s just run out of steam. She’s looked fed up for the last few months tbf.

    She’s an extremely effective politician who’s all over her brief – definitely head and shoulders above the rest of the British political leadership – but she is polarising. A lot of people can’t stand her. Independence is a hugely divisive issue here, and her ideological commitment to it is something a lot of people can’t see past. She was extremely impressive during the pandemic, was front and centre every day giving very clear information, but there are big issues that need fixing in other areas, and a lot of people feel that focusing on them rather than rerunning the Indy Ref would do more good.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Maeve, I would like to say that I deeply appreciate your comments. As an American, though I am a voracious news reader we don’t have the opportunity to read the daily headlines of many foreign countries, including Scotland. Though from the speeches that she has made and the limited articles that I have have been able to read, she is certainly a woman of great character and perseverance. She doesn’t seem to be the type to buckle under pressure but she seems to jump right into it.

      Sturgeon seemed to be a woman that could handle any situation all while juggling at the same time. How hard it must be for any women in political positions of power. The loss of Arden was monumental but Sturgeon is catastrophic.

  9. BohemianAngel says:

    I’m so disappointed by Nicola’s resignation, I know a lot of people don’t like her but I always thought she was a good strong leader. She’s always getting a lot of crap thrown at her from the right wing press and Brexiters.
    I see myself as an honorary Scot having lived up there for a while on the Isle of Lewis, it’s the place I run to when life gets too much, it’s a place where I find my peace, would still be up there if not for the weather.
    I was pro independence but now who knows if her successor will have the same passion. Yes she could have concentrated on more issues but she was the standout on this island during the pandemic, dealt with it much better than the Tory scum. Sad day for many Scottish people.

  10. crazyoldlady says:

    I get it. Thank you Nicola!